Macarons are one of my very favourite French treats. I love them to bits, particularly when there are a few different colours on one plate. I have adapted Annie’s recipe to the three flavours (and colours) I love the most: raspberry, lemon and chocolate.
|3||medium egg whites|
|A pinch||of salt|
|Pink food colouring (paste is best)|
|For the filling:|
|200g||reduced-sugar raspberry jam|
|1 tbsp||freshly squeezed lemon juice|
You will need a food processor and a piping bag fitted with a medium nozzle.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Whizz up the icing sugar and ground almonds in the bowl of a food processor until you have a fine dust.
Whisk the egg whites with the salt until you reach stiff peak stage. Add the caster sugar in a steady stream, whisking all the time. Add the food colouring and whisk to make sure that it’s evenly distributed throughout the whites. I like to use plenty of colour.
Using a large metal spoon, fold the almond and icing sugar mixture gently into the egg whites until the texture is uniform. This can take a few minutes and the most important thing to remember is to be light-handed.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium nozzle and twist the nozzle end so that the mixture doesn’t escape. I find that standing the empty piping bag (nozzle-end down) inside a tumbler makes it easier for me to fill the bag with mixture when I’m doing this alone.
Next, carefully pipe circles of mixture on to the baking sheet. Aim for little pools 3cm wide, remembering to leave space in between each as they will puff up considerably during cooking.
Holding the baking sheet with both hands, give it a sharp tap on your kitchen work surface to expel any large air bubbles. Set aside for 30 minutes to dry out the shells. You’ll know that they are ready for the oven when you can touch the surface without leaving a fingerprint.
Cook for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven. Cool on the tray.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix the jam with the lemon juice. When the macarons have cooled, sandwich together 2 macaron shells with ½ tsp filling.
Skinny secret: You could save yourself 10 calories per macaron by squishing the two sides together with 1 ripe raspberry.
62 calories each.